Russia, Turkey to discuss trade and cooperation pact in Istanbul

Other News Materials 30 May 2006 14:04 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Russia and Turkey will discuss Tuesday a draft trade and cooperation agreement in view of Russia's potential accession to the World Trade Organization, a Russian representative said.

The Industry and Energy Ministry representative said the delegations to an Istanbul session of a joint trade and cooperation commission, headed by Minister Viktor Khristenko and Turkish State Minister Kursat Tuzmen, would discuss stepping up bilateral cooperation and adjusting regulations in accordance with WTO rules, reports Trend.

Russia's ambassador to Istanbul said relations between the two countries had reached a new level in many fields.

"No closed issues between our countries," Pyotr Stegny said. "Russian-Turkish relations are gaining momentum, primarily due to trade and economic factors."

"Experts forecast trade at $25 billion by 2007," he said.

Turgut Gur, the Turkish co-chairman of the Turkish-Russian Business Council, said bilateral trade was developing at a record-high pace, hitting $15.2 billion last year, with oil natural gas accounting for 70% of the aggregate trade volume.

Russia's natural gas supplies to Turkey in 2005 grew by 25% year-on-year to 18 billion cubic meters, of which 5bln cu m was pumped through the Blue Stream pipeline, the largest Russian-Turkish joint energy project to date. The $3.2-bln pipeline is expected to carry 16 bln cu m annually by 2010.